Net Stocks Lead Tech's Comeback

Intel slips after downgrade; eBay cuts losses on stock split optimism.
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Internet stocks led the comeback in the tech sector, overshadowing another tough day for

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

.

Intel was weak throughout the day following a downgrade of the stock by

Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette

. It closed 2 7/8, or 2.4%, lower at 117 1/16. Note that DLJ is a lead underwriter for Intel rival

Advanced Micro Devices

(AMD) - Get Report

and is so tight with the company that AMD CEO W. J. "Jerry" Sanders sits on DLJ's board. AMD closed up 7/16 at 18 5/16.

Internet stocks remained the favored group in the tech sector, appearing to benefit from the weakness in many of the hardware stocks, while also continuing to ride positive comments from analysts

recently. A number of Net companies also are presenting at this week's

Hambrecht & Quist planet.wall.street

conference.

One of the more interesting plays was in

eBay

(EBAY) - Get Report

, which closed down 11 points, or 3%, at 323.

The stock opened sharply lower following news last week that the government had asked the online auctioneer for information relating to an investigation of possible illegal transactions in connection with eBay's Web site. It traded as low as 306 1/4 in the first hour of trading. But the news was overshadowed by optimism ahead of today's 3-for-1 split and speculation that the stock will move higher when it is trading in the 100s rather than the 300s.

Also,

Goldman Sachs

reiterated that eBay was on its "recommended list" and said the company was on track to meet or beat Goldman's first-quarter earnings estimates of 4 cents a share (the

First Call

estimate is 5 cents). The stock soared to an all-time high of 354 1/4 but sold off in the last 15 minutes of trading to close lower.

Also benefiting from pre-split hype was

CNET

(CNET) - Get Report

, which will split 2-for-1 March 8. In addition, the selling window for employees closed on Friday. CNET closed up 16 1/16 or 14% at 130 11/16.

Yahoo

(YHOO)

, closed up 6 5/8 or 4.3% at 164 1/2 following a presentation at today's Hambrecht & Quist Internet conference.

Broadcast.com

(BCST)

, which also presented, closed up 11 11/16 or 14% at 95 1/2.

Also,

CMG Information Services

(CMGI)

, which is in the

middle of the

Lycos

merger with

USA Networks

(USAI) - Get Report

closed up 10 3/4 or 9% at 133 3/8 following its presentation. Lycos

(LCOS)

, which also presented at the conference, closed up 15/16 at 88 9/16.